Since the beginning of this course, I have been extremely intrigued with the way American views in regards to the Civil War differ from place to place. The heroic efforts of those fighting for both flags should not ever be forgotten. That being said, I find it very fascinating how both the novels and the films continue to depict individual characters throughout the war. This is especially true in both the novel The Killer Angels and the film Gettysburg.
The parts I found to be most interesting included the ways the novel and the film portray the leaders of both the North and South. Of particular interest to me is how the novel and film portray General Lee as this GODLIKE figure despite his errors at Gettysburg. On that same note much of the class argued that the film “humanizes” the characters in the story. My views differ whereas I argue that the characters, or leaders of the story are portrayed as more than human. One quote that stands out to me from both the film and the novel comes from Colonel Chamberlain when he corrects his Lieutenant (his younger brother) for calling him by his first name. When the Lieutenant makes the claim that General Meade “has his son as his adjutant.” Colonel Chamberlain responds by saying, “That’s different. Generals can do anything. Nothing quite so much like God on earth as a general on the battlefield.”
On a similar note, the story goes above and beyond to make General Lee this GODLIKE figure with the power to inspire his men despite the overwhelming odds opposing him. Again the part that stands out the most to me is after the second days battle when Lee is riding his horse among the ranks of his men as they cheer and salute him. Many reach out to touch his hand as though he was something more than a General. This takes place after their second defeat in the battle itself and yet the spirits of the soldiers remain high.
On the other side of the battle, the Union soldiers view their leader (General Meade) as his predecessors as “idiots not fit to lead a Johnny Detail.” Of course this quote comes from a man who is questioning the efforts of the officers, especially because of the fact that he and his men are considered “mutineers.” Nevertheless, it is strikingly odd that the soldiers of the Confederacy, despite the outcome view their leader as GODLIKE whereas the Union soldiers are the exact opposite still considering the outcome.
 Michael Sharra, The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War (New York: The Modern Library, 1974), 25.
 Sharra, 23.